What's in bloom at the Toronto Botanical Garden

Fritillaria raddeana (Fritillary) Garden Hall Courtyard; This close relative to crown imperialis blooms very early with greenish lime-yellow flowers lined with burgundy.

Fritillaria meleagris (Snakes Head Fritillary) Entry Garden & Garden Hall; The bell-shaped flowers with checkerboard patterns make this unmistakeable fritillary a spring garden favourite despite its petite size.

Tulipa praestans ‘Unicum’ (Species Tulip) Garden Hall Courtyard; The variegated green leaves edged in creamy white make this beautiful bunch tulip a striking addition to the spring garden, topped with bright orange-red flowers; shown here with Euphorbia.


Tulipa kaufmanniana ‘Goudstuk’ (Waterlily Tulip) Garden Hall Courtyard; Beautiful waterlily tulip with yellow-trimmed red flowers, open to a lily-type flower; shown here closed tightly against the rain.

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Blue Lady’ (Lenton Rose) Entry Garden; Hellebores are worthwhile additions to any garden, flowering from late-winter through late spring.¬† Blue Lady was the Perennial Plant of the Year in 2005.


>April 19-26


In the Garden Hall Courtyard you will find:
Rhododendron dauricum ‘Arctic Pearl’

In the West View Terrace:

Hellebores x hybrida Winter Moonbeam

In the Garden Hall Courtyard:
Rhododendron dauricum ‘Hokkaido’

In the Garden Hall Courtyard:
Pulsatilla vulgaris Pasque Flower

In the Garden Hall Courtyard:
Rhododendron ‘April Rose’

In the Arrival Courtyard:
Hyacinth orientalis ‘Jan Bos’

>Daffodils Fri April 29


Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’ (Miniature Daffodil) Show Garden; This mini daffodil has yellow petals with an even deeper yellow cup.

Narcissus ‘Toto’ (Miniature Daffodil) Entry Garden; This miniature narcissus has white petals with a straight cup opening yellow, then fading to creamy white.
Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ (Trumpet Daffodil) Entry Garden; This classic yellow trumpet-type daffodil is one of the earliest blooming, tolerating snow & cold.
Narcissus minor var. pumilus ‘Rip Van Winkle’ (Miniature Daffodil) Demo Garden; This Irish Victorian selection has been around since 1884 featuring double yellow flowers on 6″ stems.
Narcissus ‘Tamar Fire’ (Double Daffodil) Demo Garden; A double-petaled selection with bright yellow petals highlighted by red-orange accents.
Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’ (Daffodil) Demo Garden; This large-cupped selection has white petals and a yellow corona, reaching up to 18″ in spring.

>March 22 – 29

>In the Demonstration Garden this week you will find:
Galanthus Collection (Snowdrops). A variety of snowdrops are beginning to naturalize in this section of the garden. Look for them at the west end of the Entry Garden at the Lawrence Ave. entrance

In the Arrival Courtyard:
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Primavera’ (Witch Hazel); x Intermedia hybrids are large deciduous shrubs preferring organically rich, acidic soils. Primavera is upright and vase-shaped, eventually reaching 15 feet and flowering later than most cultivars.

In the West View Terrace corner bed:
Crocus vernus ‘Jeanne d’Arc (Dutch crocus); this early riser has glistening white petals with purple striations from the top of the stem to the flower’s base

In the Garden Hall Courtyard:
Crocus flavus (Crocus luteus; Dutch yellow crocus); this bright orange-yellow crocus is known for its smaller, richly coloured flowers during early spring in March and April

>March 1


Today on March 1st, we went looking for signs of spring and found some!

In the Nature Garden, you will find:
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Merrill’ (Loebner magnolia) As we await the star-like blossoms of Merrill magnolia, we can admire the buds as they form on this very hardy tree which will eventually mature to some 40ft.

In the Westview Terrace:

Helleborus niger ‘Maximus’ (Christmas rose); these ever-popular semi-evergreen perennials are must have’s for any late winter garden. For weeks now Maximus has pushed its head through the frozen ground, waiting to unfurl its pink-flushed white flowers.

In the Garden Hall Courtyard – Bank:
Erica carnea
‘Golden Starlet’ (Spring heath) New buds are forming on Golden Starlet heath, one of many varieties in the TBG collection.

>Feb. 1-8


This weeks picks highlight “winter interest” in the garden as snow provides a dramatic backdrop for many plants.

In the Show Garden- South you will find:
Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Filifera Aureovariegata’ (Sawara false cypress); this variegated thread-leaf form of Sawara cypress has excellent green and golden yellow foliage making it an an instant eye-catcher in the winter garden

In the Show Garden- South:
Pinus mugo ‘Aurea Fastigiata’ (Mountain pine); this cultivar of mugo pine is distinguished by its relatively upright growth and golden-yellow winter foliage.

In the Knot Garden:
Fagus sylvatica forma purpurea ‘Cuprea’ (Purple/Copper beech); these beautiful slow-growing trees with attractive ,smooth silver bark will hold their leaves through the winter.

In the Entry Garden:
Sedum spectabile (now Hylotelephium spectabile) (Stonecrop); this clump forming perennial known for its succulent-like fleshy leaves and stems, holds up well in Canadian winters with flattened flower heads held until chopped down in spring

In the Entry Garden:
Liatris spicata (Blazing star) with Echinacea ‘Sunrise’ (Big Sky series) (Purple coneflower); Liatris is a native prairie flower, here with the hybrid coneflower Sunrise; these two plants will hold their seed heads up under a blanket of snow until we gardeners cut them back in spring

In the Entry Garden:
Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’ (Switch grass); valued for its red-tipped foliage in summer, turning deep burgundy by fall, this native prairie grass stands up well through winter – bring on the snow!

>Jan 10-17, 2011


In the Nature Garden you will find:
Pennisetum with Echinacea purpurea (Fountain Grass with Purple Coneflower); both these plants hold up well under snow and winter conditions and make for long-lasting winter interest in any garden.

In the Nature Garden:
Amelanchier laevis (Allegheny Serviceberry); this small tree or shrub is native to Ontario and eastward, reaching to 10metres. Iit is an excellent choice for city gardens! In this winter shot, one side of its bark is thawed by the sun while the other is frozen with ice crystals.

The Knot Garden:
The Knot Garden is hard to resist in winter when snowfall highlights the many architecturally pruned forms of this garden, in particular the evergreen yew and boxwood hedges, as well as the deciduous privet

In the South Show Garden:
Berberis thunbergii forma atropurpurea ‘Concorde’ (Japanese Barberry); this dense thorny shrub is popular for its colouring, and produces berries which are carried through the winter, Here it is seen with a glistening of frost on its arching branches.

In the South Show Garden:
Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’ (Winterberry); this wetland holly loses its leaves each year and bears an abundance of bright red fruit which is carried through the winter. Here they stand out brilliantly against the snow.

A friendly reminder regarding Winter Garden Etiquette: Even though they are now under a blanket of snow, please respect the garden beds and stay on the groomed paths! It is very tempting to walk in to have a closer look at sites like the rich red berries above – but remember you are stepping on plants to improve your view!